A group of well-meaning buddhists have been fined a total of £28,000 for misguidedly trying to do something nice, after they bought up a pile of live lobsters destined for the catering industry and set them free in the sea off the coast of Brighton.
The problem for the animal-loving group was the specific type of lobster they chose. They bought a batch of non-native American lobsters -- 361 of them -- which were imported to be sold as food and do not belong in our bit of the sea. Hence the leaders of the scheme were charged under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 for potentially disrupting our undersea ecosystem by introducing alien shellfish.
The fines include an element of compensation, which is going to the Marine Management Organisation -- the body that tried to clean up the mess by trapping as many of the intruders as possible with help from local fishermen. [GOV via Argus]